For two days last week, Olympia played host to the Independent Hotel show, providing a much appreciated and welcome business platform for boutique and luxury hotels both domestically and internationally.
The concept was first launched in 2012, and for the first time, provided an exhibition for products, services and issues specifically relevant to the hotel industry. This year, demonstrating its need within this important market, over 300 suppliers, service providers and experts to the hotel industry registered to exhibit.
But the overall aim of the show was not just to showcase new products and innovations within this sector: the business sessions over the two days offered ideas on how to increase profitability and day-to-day efficiency, identify key trends and stay ahead of the competition and how to establish business relationships.
From interior and exterior designers to environmental and sustainable experts, the seminars that were arranged were all dedicated to running a profitable hotel, whether it is a boutique, luxury or independent, with a range of topics covered from revenue management to setting a unique style to attract visitors.
There were also some awards announced. The 2014 Winner of the Independent Hotelier of the Year Award went to Kit and Tim Kemp “recognised for their influence on the boutique hotel scene”, with the opening of their ninth hotel, Ham Yard in London. No ordinary hotel, this venue has a bowling alley, apartments and even a theatre.
Outstanding New Hotel of the Year went to Robin Hutson’s newly opened the Pig on the Beach in Studland, Dorset. Recognised by the judges for its “laid back luxury and sophistication” it has emerged as one of the most desirable hotels to visit, offering a unique thatched round house private dining room and two shepherds hut treatment rooms.
And food features heavily at the Pig: “from garden to plate everything is driven by the gardener, forager and chef – they grow and find the food, the chef then creates the 25-mile menu.” Hutson added: “We’re delighted to win the Outstanding New Hotel of the Year award. It’s a big team effort launching any new hotel and huge thanks must go to everyone involved.”
As AC Services commissioned Pig on the Beach’s Rational ovens, we’re delighted that they have won this award as recognition of their hard work.
Maintain the Best
What was clear from the show and the seminars was the need to create innovative guest experiences that deliver guests. Not every hotel is the same, and if you have something that stands out, whether it be a specific décor or signature dish in the restaurant, make sure that your assets are protected. For example, if your hotel prides itself on its cuisine, then ensure that maintenance of the kitchen, including the oven, is planned and carried out regularly.
According to AC Services (Southern), you can design, plan and prepare the most exquisite dish in the world but if your oven breaks down, all you are left with is ingredients. So plan a maintenance programme and steal a march on competitors.